Alistair McGowan is to replace Rupert Everett in Pygmalion for the final three weeks of the show’s run at the Garrick theatre.
Everett, who has played phonetics professor Henry Higgins since the show’s premiere at Chichester Festival Theatre, is to leave the West End run on 15 August in order to film a new BBC/HBO television series.
McGowan, who will join Kara Tointon and Diana Rigg in the show from then until its scheduled end on 3 September, is no stranger to the London stage. Despite being best known for his television work – including his own show The Big Impression and detective series Mayo – McGowan has turned his attention to theatre in recent years, appearing in Little Shop Of Horrors, Cabaret and The Mikado in the West End, as well as They’re Playing Our Song at the Menier Chocolate Factory. As a playwright, his debut work, Timing, premiered at the King’s Head theatre in 2009.
Philip Prowse’s production of Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion opened in London in May this year with Tointon taking on the role of Eliza Doolittle, the Cockney flower girl who becomes a linguistics project for Higgins, who bets his friend he can transform her into a society lady.